Thursday, September 9, 2010

Arsenal v Bolton

If anyone is interested in joining me, I will be watching this match live at the Baker Street Pub, at the corner of 63rd St. and 1st Ave., on the scenic island of Manhattan.  And just to warn you, I will be accompanied by an Arsenal supporter.

As for the match, I must admit I am not especially confident of Bolton getting a result.  I think Bolton will defend fairly well, and I think we will create a fair amount of chances on the break.  Arsenal will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% possession, and they will look lovely in their movement and control about 40 yards from Adam Bogdan.  It will be a joy to watch.  Of course, the problem arises when the gunners fail to turn that possession into goals.  Two of the players who specialize in turning the pretty passing into points, Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott, are out with injuries.  That may not be enough to get Bolton any points, but it could help make things nervy for Arsenal fans.

Bolton under Owen Coyle will spend a lot more time passing the ball around on the pitch than in past seasons, but that may not be an advantage against Arsenal.  However, there will be some space available, as Arsenal's defense is not exactly airtight.  This may be just the game to get Bolton's wingers, Martin Petrov and Lee Chung-yong (pictured), into a good run of form.  Both have started slowly this season, largely because they have been a focal point of opposing defenses.

There is one other thing that may benefit the Wanderers.  Arsenal start their Champion's League campaign next week.  That, coupled with the fact that most of Arsenal's players are returning from points across the globe, may encourage Arsene Wenger to rest some of his stars.  I will say this, if Cesc Fabregas is sitting in the director's box wearing a suit I will be ecstatic.  He has won several matches almost single-handedly against Bolton in the past few seasons.   I am not holding my breath though.

My final verdict, Arsenal will leave it late, but get it done.  Two goals in the final 10 minutes give the Gunners a 2-1 victory, despite a fine performance by the Wanderers, led by a rejuvenated Martin Petrov scoring his first goal for the club.


Anonymous said...

4-0 to the Arsenal!!!!!!

Joey said...

More likely 2-1 Arsenal.

Anonymous said...

Almunia can't keep a clean sheet, can he?????

Anonymous said...

Bogdan and Almunia in goal, there has to be a howler!

Ed said...

Close enough, 4-1, but never a red card.